Making your own decisions regarding healthcare is your personal right. However, you should make choices based on verifiable information. So, if you are looking for the right sports medicine doctor, get the facts first. Here’s how to choose the right sports medicine provider.
Know What a Sports Medicine Doctor Does
Sports medicine is a subspecialty of orthopedic medicine. These physicians diagnose and treat injuries and conditions related to physical activity, exercise, athletic training, and sports participation–both amateur and professional.
A sports medicine doctor diagnoses and treats sports-related injuries, advises active people on how to train safely, and helps people prevent long-term musculoskeletal conditions and acute injuries. Most sports medicine doctors also counsel athletes on how to fuel their bodies with the right foods, supplements, and hydration. Therefore, sports medicine doctors are great for people who are active and want to stay active as they age.
Your primary care physician may be able to refer you to a sports medicine doctor right for your condition and even your training regimen and philosophy. Also, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted friend, your coach, or your fitness instructor who they personally use and would recommend. Word of mouth can be a powerful and reliable tool in researching a wide range of services, including healthcare.
Research the Doctor’s Training and Credentials
There are several ways to do this. You can read the biography section of the doctor’s website, looking for education, hospital affiliations, and areas of expertise.
You can also verify the doctor’s board certification through the American Board of Medical Specialties website, CertificationMatters.org. This credential helps prove advanced skills and knowledge, along with a strong interest in continuing education and peer review.
Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor directly about their credentials. Ask how much experience he or she has in treating the condition you wish to have treated or the surgery you may think you need.
Talk to the Doctor in Person
Complete your research by talking to the doctor in person during an in-office consultation. Try to understand how the doctor communicates, answers questions, and teaches you about your condition or possible procedure. Your questions–prepared ahead of time–should be answered in a friendly manner, and of course, the doctor should be open to you seeing another healthcare provider for a second opinion.
Plus, see what you think about the atmosphere in the sports medicine facility. Are the staff members respectful of your time? Are they happy to help you with your insurance questions and appointment requests? Is the clinic clean and orderly? These things are more than nuances. They are essential to your care and comfort.
Make Sure the Doctor Takes Your Health Insurance
Don’t forget this important detail. When you are making your consultation appointment, verify that the doctor is in-network with your health insurance provider. Also, contact your insurance carrier to verify the same thing. Find out what your office visit, imaging, and follow-up visit copays may be, too.
Expert Sports Medicine Doctor Walnut Creek, California
If you are looking for an excellent sports medicine doctor near you, look no further than Dr. Laura Timmerman.
Dr. Timmerman is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treatments for the shoulder, knee, and elbow. She is fellowship-trained in one of today’s most sought-after medical subspecialties: sports medicine. A special interest of hers is regenerative medicine which employs non-surgical techniques to help the body heal without surgery.